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There are 3 Ways to Get More Business


There are 3 ways to get business in today’s world:

1. They come to you (This is what we all want)
2. You go to them (Takes more effort)
3. Combination of both strategies

Luckily or more likely due to hard foundational work and deep pockets, multi-million or billion-dollar businesses like Apple, McDonald’s, a gas station, Loblaws only need to use the first strategy. They don’t need to make phone calls or knock on doors to get more customers.

Some smaller companies are also at the point where they don’t have to put any effort in outreach, because they get enough business from referrals (1st strategy) possibly combined with SEO (1st strategy). If you’re there, congratulations! That’s a great achievement. There may come a time when you’ll have to add the 2nd method back in though. So, let’s review. 

There are many things you can do to have customers come to you. Some of these methods could also be categorized as “You go to them.”

These methods are exclusively “They Come to You:”

  1. Great SEO – One of the most common ways for people to look for products and services is on Google. Other search engines are also well used, not as highly as Google, but, they still offer the same opportunity for SEO websites. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization It means making and updating your website so that search engines (Google, Bing, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.) will show your website to its’ searchers near the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If your website ranks high for relevant and popular keywords, you can get a lot of visitors coming to your website. Since your website is a virtual store, you have used a method to bring a lot of customers to you.
  2. Advertising – Meaning putting out your branding, content and calls to action to the world. Examples:
    1. Free/Sweat Equity: Social media profiles, social media posts, Google Business Profile, free online directories, branded real or virtual background for video calls
    2. Paid: Social media and search engine ads; TV, YouTube, radio or other commercials;  Flyer mailouts; brochures and business cards placed where people can take them; sign outside of your physical store; your website; bus stop and subway signs; billboards; ad in magazine or newsletter; paid business directory listing
  3. Referrals – Who doesn’t love these?? Referrals typically come from 1 of 5 sources: Past or current clients, family, friends, acquaintances and Referral Partners.
  4. Podcasts: Hosting your own or appearing on another person’s podcast
  5. Guest Speaker: Reach a large audience in a short period of time.
  6. Custom apps (e.g. Uber) – They made the app easy for customers to book and pay for a ride, plus other great features. Before Uber, we could only call a taxi company to ask for a taxi. This was a much longer process that added significant times to commutes.
  7. Loyalty point programs – Often combined with custom apps. Example, PC Optimum Points (Get them when shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, No Frill and Esso)

These methods are exclusively “You Go to Them:” (High effort)

  1. Outgoing phone calls
  2. Door knocking – residential or commercial
  3. Sending social media connection requests and messages
  4. Sending emails
  5. Talking to people at a dog park, in-line at a store or restaurant, at the hairdresser/barber’s, anywhere else you have the opportunity to talk to people, learn about them and present what you do (in small bites – conversational format.. not in a long explanation at one time. Limit your answers to 30 seconds, when possible)

These methods can be considered combo method or strategies:

  1. Business Networking Events – You have to show up to these and walk up to talk to people, so this is a definitely a You Go to Them strategy, but, since others will also walk up to you to talk, and you may be able to give a pitch to the group, you could consider it a They Come to You strategy as well.
  2. Referral Networking Groups (aka Referral Groups) – When you join a group, other members may send you referrals and some may become your clients (They come to you), but, you still need to explain and promote your services verbally and ask for business (You Go to Them).
  3. Guest Speaker Although this is mainly a They Come to You strategy, it may not be enough to just wait for people to come to you. In the cases where you get the contact information of guests or have the opportunity to talk with them in person, you need to proactively ask them for a meeting or to make a direct purchase. The latter would make this a combo method.
  4. Social events – As people get to know you, they will also ask what you do, meaning your job. You have to socialize with the same people regularly for them to get to know you and you get to know them. If you present yourself right, qualify others and ask for their business, you could easily get clients this way.
  5. Email marketing – This is a They Come to You strategy disguised as a You Go to Them strategy. Email marketing is a fantastic tool for getting new and repeat business, but, you need to make sure that you use the recipient’s name in the email or it will feel less personable and may therefore have less of an impact. It’s an electronic, one button outreach method that saves lots of time and energy.

There may be other existing methods as well, and new ones may emerge on the market in the future. To use this information to help your business grow, check off the methods you’ve used before. If the ones you’ve used have worked well, keep on using them; if there are some that haven’t given you the results you wanted, either figure out why and improve your approach and execution of the method or try something completely different.

Tammy Defoe
Author: Tammy Defoe

Tammy Defoe is the Founder and President of GTApreneurs Inc. She is a Business Coach, Sales Trainer and Public Speaking Instructor. She is very skilled and experienced at helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

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